Diversity in the genetic profile between individuals and specific ethnic groups affects nutrient requirements, metabolism and response to nutritional and dietary interventions. Indeed, individuals respond differently to lifestyle interventions (diet, physical activity, smoking, etc.). The sequencing of the human genome and subsequent increased knowledge regarding human genetic variation is contributing to the emergence of personalized nutrition. These advances in genetic science are raising numerous questions regarding the mode that precision nutrition can contribute solutions to emerging problems in public health, by reducing the risk and prevalence of nutrition-related diseases. Current views on personalized nutrition encompass omics technologies (nutrigenomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, foodomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, etc.), functional food development and challenges related to legal and ethical aspects, application in clinical practice, and population scope, in terms of guidelines and epidemiological factors. In this context, precision nutrition can be considered as occurring at three levels: (1) conventional nutrition based on general guidelines for population groups by age, gender and social determinants; (2) individualized nutrition that adds phenotypic information about the person's current nutritional status (e.g. anthropometry, biochemical and metabolic analysis, physical activity, among others), and (3) genotype-directed nutrition based on rare or common gene variation. Research and appropriate translation into medical practice and dietary recommendations must be based on a solid foundation of knowledge derived from studies on nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. A scientific society, such as the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics (ISNN), internationally devoted to the study of nutrigenetics/nutrigenomics, can indeed serve the commendable roles of (1) promoting science and favoring scientific communication and (2) permanently working as a 'clearing house' to prevent disqualifying logical jumps, correct or stop unwarranted claims, and prevent the creation of unwarranted expectations in patients and in the general public. In this statement, we are focusing on the scientific aspects of disciplines covering nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics issues. Genetic screening and the ethical, legal, social and economic aspects will be dealt with in subsequent statements of the Society.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.